Butler boys finish in 2nd
Golden Tornado win tiebreaker with Hempfield
Butler's Noah Beveridge wins the 800-meter run during the WPIAL Class AAA team track and field finals Monday at Baldwin High School. The Golden Tornado finished second.
WHITEHALL — The chances of a WPIAL team championship were gone, but Butler was determined not to come home empty-handed.
By the time the 4x400 relay rolled around at Baldwin High School Monday evening, Butler and Hempfield were vying for second place and the runner-up trophy that comes with it.
The Golden Tornado's foursome of Doug Kostelansky, Cade Gratzmiller, Noah Beveridge and Jake Wolfrum not only finished ahead of Hempfield, but Wolfrum's burst down the front straightaway overtook North Allegheny to win the event by less than a second.
“These kids wanted hardware,” said Butler coach Rick Schontz. “We knew if we won the pole vault, finished 1-2-3 in the 3,200 and won the relay (against Hempfield) we would tie them. At that point, it would go to a tiebreaker and we weren't sure how the tiebreaker would work.”
Jack Codispot did his part by winning the pole vault while Aden Dressler, Brett Brady and Cam Seybert each pulled away from the Spartans in the 3,200.
Butler easily won the tiebreaker, which was total points scored in the meet, 224 to the Spartans' 189.
The Tornado also defeated Norwin (93-57), but lost to rival North Allegheny (94-56).
“Congratulations to NA,” Schontz said. “They are a very talented team and deserved to win, but our kids are winners, too. We really came together this year and will have some strong kids coming back next year.”
For Wolfrum, a senior, his furious rush in the final seconds of the 4x400 relay had some frustration behind it.
“I was here as a freshman three years ago when we lost,” he said. “All I wanted to do was get back here and win. I'm just really disappointed right now.”
Butler's other overall winners were Noah Beveridge in the 800 and 1,600 runs and the 4x800 relay team of Kostelansky, Brady, Dressler and Beveridge.
Butler has seven district boys team titles in its history, the last coming in 2007.